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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on April 13, 2011

Today is monumental. Do you know why? Because today is the day you take your first step toward financial freedom.

April is Financial Literacy Month, the perfect opportunity to make a new start and begin the path to financial freedom. But you won’t have to go it alone. Money Management International has created a simple 30-step program–complete with materials and tools to help guide you on your journey including free interactive worksheets and eBooks.

This year we’ve also teamed up with Jean Chatzky to host a video question-and-answer session right here on Blogging for Change. Ms. Chatzky is a gifted and knowledgeable motivational speaker, author, and financial journalist who appears on The Today Show, where she serves as the financial editor. She has written for publications like SmartMoney, More Magazine, and the New York Daily News.

Ms. Chatzky has also authored several books that have touched on everything from money and happiness (The 10 Commandments of Financial Happiness) to women and money (Make Money Not Excuses) to how to thrive in a tough economy (The Difference). According to her website, her philosophy remains consistent whatever the financial topic: “If you want to own your life, you have to own your money.”

We realize that financial situations vary from person to person, which is why we encourage you to submit your own specific question to Ms. Chatzky by commenting on this post. We will select five questions from those submitted for Ms. Chatzky to answer on April 30, the last day of Financial Literacy Month 2011.

Jean Chatzky

Throughout the month of April, we will also be hosting live webinars designed to address important and timely financial topics. Make a commitment to your financial future today by taking the first step. Rest assured that we’ll be with you every step of the way. 

You might also enjoy reading:

Jean Chatzky answers your financial questions about retirement savings


Ann says:
April 14, 2011
Website: N/A

We owe on a piece of land which is separate from our home which we also owe on. Should we refinance these into 1 loan? We have the credit score to qualify and it is with a local bank. Combined the debt is around $200,000. The land is at 7.7% while the mortgage is only 5.5 %.

Chris says:
April 07, 2011

If you had 60 minutes a week to dedicated to managing your finances, how would you spend the time?

Anonymous says:
April 12, 2011

If a credit card is offering to settle with me at almost 90% of what I owe am I better doing that or waiting until I have the money to pay it in full! EIther way I know my credit is a mess!

Anonymous says:
April 13, 2011

What percentage of my income would you recomend that I contribute to my 401k through my company? I have credit card debt and virtually no savings, but the company matches a good portion of the amount I contribute, so I don't want to leave money on the table. What should I do?

Anonymous says:
April 15, 2011

I have been self-employed for about 7 years, and when I had a "real" job, I never had problems managing my money (even when I didn't make a lot). One of the most frustrating things for a self-employed person is when trying to find financial advice- is that it is all geared toward the assumption that someone has a steady, determined income (ie a paycheck) that expenses can be measured against. When you are self-employed, your income swings back and forth month to month, and you can't just set a normal budget, because you don't know how much is coming in. And unlike someone who loses a job, if you lose a major client, you can't collect unemployment, and don't have a lot of the safety nets that people with full time employment have. I could go on with all of the frustrations of finding self-employed financial information, but I guess my main question is, how do you make a budget (and stick to one) when you don't know how money you'll have coming in?

Danielle says:
April 15, 2011

I’m sick of financial advice that rehashes the same old tips (“Forgo your morning trip to Starbucks and eventually all that pocket change will add up!”) – What’s something new (advice or tool or resource) in the world of personal finance that will help me manage my money better?

edmund copeland says:
April 15, 2011
Website: esc1936

My wife has just received the information that she has no income. She shares my retirement stipend. What can I do to change her income status?

James says:
October 12, 2012
Website: ?

I am 86 years old and have an MMI paying $2104/month on $80,000 credit cd debt to be paid by mid 2016 when I will be 91. [see an actuarial table] What would be the consequence of my stopping paying the $2104/mon which has become a hardship (I need hearing aids $4000 and my 91 Camry needs repairs $2000.)

Laurie says:
April 11, 2011

I just got an iPad...what apps do you recommend?

Lee Brandon says:
April 07, 2011

1. How do I find health insurance for my 12-year-old? I live in Maryland. 2. I have two 401k accounts and one 501b(?) account. How do I evaluate whether I have invested those monies to my best advantage? 3. I am selling an investment property. What IRS form do I need to file for it in 2011? 4. What books would you suggest to help learn as quickly as possible how to manage my finances well?

Marchelette says:
April 15, 2011

Is there a maximum timeframe to pay off credit card debt? For example, if I have credit card debt from 2008 and I've been making payments each month without late fees does that total balance need to be paid off within a certain time?

Maritza says:
February 06, 2013

I need to apply for bankrupcy but the attorney is asking me to pay in advance $1,800.00 plus the counseling fees, plus an appraisal for my 2000 GMC Jimmy. Is there a non for profit org. to pay less? Please help me. I lost my job have no money and need to take steps to start all over. Thank you.

MD says:
April 12, 2011

I have three credit card accounts open. One I was using for work expenses. I switched jobs and don't need the card anymore. The card is paid off, but has an annual fee. To protect my credit score, should I keep it or can I close it?

Roxie Holmes says:
April 12, 2012
Website: totally clueless

I am 49% complete in a DMP/MMI. However. I owe the IRS about 1500 and make monthly payments. The interest is killing me at 50%. How do you suggest that I proceed? Cancel the DMP and pay IRS? Thank you.

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Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy Month. Celebrate with us by taking the pledge!